John Milton (1608-1674)

“The mind can make a heaven out of hell or a hell out of heaven.”

“Loneliness is the first thing which God’s eye named, not good.”

“Jealousy is the injured lover’s hell.”

“Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.”

“Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.”

“The end of learning is to know God, and out of that knowledge to love Him and imitate Him.”

“Laws can discover sin, but not remove it.”

“Athens, the eye of Greece, mother of arts and eloquence.”

“The stars, that nature hung in heaven, and filled their lamps with everlasting oil, give due light to the misled and lonely traveler.”

“Tears such as angels weep.”

“Confidence imparts a wonderful inspiration to its possessor.”

“Nothing profits more than self-esteem, grounded on what is just and right.”

“Death is the golden key that opens the palace of eternity.”

“One tongue is sufficient for a woman.”

“Abashed the devil stood,
And felt how awful goodness is.”

“There is no truth sure enough to justify persecution.”

“A good book is the precious life-blood of the master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose for a life beyond.”

“Books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they are; nay they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them.”

“The childhood shows the man,
As morning shows the day. Be famous then
By wisdom; as thy empire must extend,
So let extend thy mind o’er all the world.”

“Servant of God, well done, well hast thou fought
The better fight, who single hast maintain’d
Against revolted multitudes the Cause Of Truth,
In word mightier than they in Arms;
And for the testimony of Truth hast borne Universal reproach, far worse”

“Some natural tears they dropped, but wiped them soon;
The world was all before them, where to choose
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide:
They hand in hand with wandering steps and slow
Through Eden took their solitary way.”

“The superior man acquaints himself with many sayings of antiquity and many deeds of the past, in order to strengthen his character thereby.”

“Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”

“The best apology against false accusers is silence and sufferance, and honest deeds set against dishonest words.”

“How gladly would I meet mortality, my sentence, and be earth in sensible! how glad would lay me down, as in my mother’s lap! There I should rest, and sleep secure.”

“Better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven.”

“When complaints are freely heard, deeply considered and speedily reformed, then is the utmost bound of civil liberty attained that wise men look for.”

“A man may be a heretic in the truth; and if he believe things only because his pastor says so, or the assembly so determines, without knowing other reason, though his belief be true, yet the very truth he holds becomes his heresy.”

“For who would lose,
Though full of pain, this intellectual being,
Those thoughts that wander through eternity,
To perish rather, swallowed up and lost
In the wide womb of uncreated night,
Devoid of sense and motion?”

“Of Man’s first disobedience, and the fruit Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste Brought death into the world, and all our woe.”

“To behold the wandering moon,
Riding near her highest noon,
Like one that had been led astray
Through the heav’n’s wide pathless way;
And oft, as if her head she bowed,
Stooping through a fleecy cloud.”

“He that studieth revenge keepeth his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well.”

“For solitude is sometimes best society, And short retirement urges sweet return.”

“Tomorrow to fresh woods, and pastures new.”

“To be blind is not miserable; not to be able to bear blindness, that is miserable.”
“Fear and dull disposition, luke warmness and sloth, are not seldom wont to cloak themselves under the affected name of Moderation.”

“The melting voice through mazes running;
Untwisting all the chains that tie
The hidden soul of harmony.”

“Anarchy is the sure consequence of tyranny; or no power that is not limited by laws can ever be protected by them.”

“Servant of God, well done; well hast thou fought the better fight”

“How charming is divine philosophy!
Not harsh and crabbed, as dull fools suppose,
But musical as is Apollo’s lute,
And a perpetual feast of nectar’d sweets
Where no crude surfeit reigns”

“The brazen throat of war had ceased to roar,
All now was turned to jollity and game,
To luxury and riot, feast and dance.”

“The sun to me is dark
And silent as the moon,
When she deserts the night
Hid in her vacant, interlunar cave.”

“Thus with the year
Seasons return, but not to me returns
Day, or the sweet approach of ev’n or morn,
Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer’s rose,
Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine.”

“So sinks the day-star in the ocean bed,
And yet anon repairs his drooping head,
And tricks his beams, and with new-spangled ore,
Flames in the forehead of the morning sky.”

“Sweet the coming on
Of grateful evening mild; then silent night
With this her solemn bird and this fair moon,
And these the gems of heaven, her starry train.”

“So farewell Hope, and with Hope farewell Fear, Farewell Remorse: all Good to me is lost; Evil be thou my Good.”

“Far from all resort of mirth,
Save the cricket on the hearth!”

“O loss of sight, of thee I most complain! Blind among enemies, O worse than chains, dungeon or beggary, or decrepit age! Light, the prime work of God, to me is extinct, and all her various objects of delight annulled, which might in part my grief have eased. Inferior to the vilest now become of man or worm; the vilest here excel me, they creep, yet see; I, dark in light, exposed to daily fraud, contempt, abuse and wrong, within doors, or without, still as a fool, in power of others, never in my own; scarce half I seem to live, dead more than half.”

“Farewell happy fields
Where joy for ever dwells: Hail horrors, hail!”

“A mind not to be changed by place or time, the mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.”

“They also serve who only stand and wait.”

“To live a life half-dead, a living death”

“Where no hope is left, is left no fear.”

“If there be any difference among professed believers as to the sense of Scripture, it is their duty to tolerate such difference in each other, until God shall have revealed the truth to all.”

“Necessity, the tyrant’s plea.”

“For pity melts the mind to love.”

“Where there is much desire to learn, there of necessity will be much arguing, much writing, many opinions; for opinions in good men is but knowledge in the making.”

“Accuse not Nature,
she hath done her part;
Do thou but thine.”

“More safe I sing with mortal voice, unchanged
To hoarse or mute though fall’n on evil days,
On evil days though fall’n, and evil tongues;
In darkness, and with dangers compassed round,
And solitude.”

“The Tree of Knowledge grew fast by, Knowledge of Good bought dear by knowing ill.”

“Evil news rides post, while good news bates”

“Taste this, and be henceforth among the Gods thyself a Goddess.”

“To chronicle the wars of kites and crows, fighting in the air.”

“Storied of old in high immortal verse
Of dire chimeras and enchanted isles,
And rifted rocks whose entrance leads to Hell.”

“Good, the more communicated, more abundant grows.”

“Yet from those flames
No light, but rather darkness visible
Served only to discover sights of woe,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades where peace
And rest can never dwell, hope never comes
That comes to all.”

“With thee conversing I forget all time.”

“Virtue that wavers is not virtue.”

“O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon,
Irrecoverably dark, total eclipse
Without all hope of day!”

“Beauty is Nature’s coin, must not be hoarded, but must be current.”

“Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep”

“A crown, golden in show is but a wreath of thorns.”

“What in me is dark, illumine, what is low raise and support,
That to the height of this great argument I may assert eternal Providence,
And justify the ways of God to men”

“Just are the ways of God,
And justifiable to men;
Unless there be who think not God at all”

“A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.”

“Our country is wherever we are well off.”

“He who destroys a good book kills reason itself.”

“With ruin upon ruin, rout on rout,
Confusion worse confounded.”

“Dear son of memory, great heir of fame,
What need’st thou such weak witness of thy name?”

“Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n.”

“When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide,
Lodged with me useless.”

“For what can war, but endless war still breed?”

“But O the heavy change, now thou art gone,
Now thou art gone, and never must return!”

“Let those who would write heroic poems make their life an heroic poem.”

“To be weak is miserable
Doing or suffering.”

“And feel that I am happier than I know.”

“Liquid lapse of murmuring streams.”

“What is strength without a double share of wisdom?”

“Calm of mind, all passion spent”

“Reason also is choice.”

“Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the rose.”

“O welcome pure-eyed Faith, white-handed Hope,
Thou hovering angel girt with golden wings.”

“Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold.”

“Towered cities please us then
And the busy hum of men.”

“Right against the eastern gate,
Where the great sun begins his state.”

“Virtue could see to do what Virtue would
By her own radiant light, though sun and moon
Were in the flat sea sunk.”

“What hath night to do with sleep?”

“My fairest, my espoused, my latest found,
Heaven’s last best gift, my ever new delight.”

“Wherefore with thee
Came not all hell broke loose?”

“Whence and what art thou, execrable shape?”

“The starry cope of heaven.”

“Who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God’s image, but thee who destroys a good book, kills reason its self.”

“It is not miserable to be blind; it is miserable to be incapable of enduring blindness.”

“Peace has her victories which are no less renowned than war.”
“With necessity,
The tyrant’s plea, excused his devilish deeds.”

“Freely we serve
Because we freely love, as in our will
To love or not; in this we stand or fall.”

“Rather than be less
Cared not to be at all.”

“I was all ear
And took in strains that might create a soul
Under the ribs of Death.”

“As good almost kill a man as kill a good book: who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God’s image; but he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were, in the eye.”

“None can love freedom heartily but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license which never hath more scope than under tyrants.”

“I argue not against heaven’s hand or will, nor bate a jot of heart or hope, but still bear up, and steer right onward.”

“The end then of learning is to repair the ruins of our first parents by regaining to know God aright, and out of that knowledge to love him, to imitate him, to be like him.”

“Restless thoughts, like a deadly swarm of hornets arm’d, no sooner found alone, but rush upon me thronging.”

“He knew
Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhyme.”

“God is thy law, thou mine: to know no more
Is woman’s happiest knowledge, and her praise.”

“Since first this subject for heroic song
Pleased me long choosing, and beginning late.”

“License they mean when they cry liberty.”

“He who reigns within himself and rules passions, desires, and fears is more than a king.”

“Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet, With charm of earliest birds”

“Less excellent, as thou thyself perceivest.”

“Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie”

“Peace hath her victories, No less renowned than war”

“Be strong, live happy, and love, but first of all Him whom to love is to obey.”

Let not England forget her precedence of teaching nations how to live.”

“Just are the ways of God,
And justifiable to men.”

“Thou O Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all Temples th’ upright heart and pure.”

“That power which erring men call chance.”

“Men of most renowned virtue have sometimes by transgressing most truly kept the law.”

“His tongue dropt manna, and could make the worse appear the better reason.”

“Heav’nly love shall outdoo Hellish hate.”

“Nor love thy life, nor hate; but what thou liv’st, Live well, how long or short permit to heav’n.”

“Money brings honor, friends, conquest, and realms.”

“Truth is as impossible to be soiled by any outward touch as the sunbeam.”

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